The CrossFit Open 21.2: workout tips and strategies

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21.2 EW EW EW. 

Now that that’s out of my system, lets get to strategizing.

21.2 is a repeat of 17.1; the first Open workout of 2017 in which 44% of men and 27% of women finished in under the 20:00 time cap. 

It’s a tough workout, there’s no doubt about that, but the toughest part will be making sure you don’t go out too quickly from the start. You want to find an aggressive pace, but one that doesn’t cause you to blow up and hinder your technique halfway through.

If you’re as fit as Justin Meidoros who, during the 21.2 Open Announcement, was just four seconds shy of the top 17.1 score, then going out hot and keeping that level of intensity is certainly an option.

But it won’t be for me.

Us mere mortals need to find a pace and execute a game plan that allows for continual movement. Avoid sneaky “rest” techniques such as chalking up, putting your dumbbell down between reps, or having a burpee siesta on the floor which will all cost you valuable seconds.

If you don’t reel it in and find a good pace at the start, there will be no turning back when fatigue hits. And it doesn’t matter how fit you are, fatigue will set in at some point. It’s important to know your strengths and weaknesses and pacing strategies for this one.

To gauge your strategy ask yourself a few simple questions before the workout.

  1. If I start with quick burpee box jump overs will I be able to keep that pace? Will I end up paying the price midway through and need 10+ seconds to rest?
  2. Should I jump back and forward for each burpee and always jump off the box? Or, should I vie for another option such as stepping down from the box and/or stepping forward out of each burpee to control my heart rate?
  3. Can I continually rep out snatches with a transition in front of the face or, if I’m a beginner, should I switch hands on the floor?

Whatever your game plan, make sure you stick to it. It’s a workout that you won’t want to do again, because your lower back will inevitably take a beating so make sure you stick to your game plan and be “one and done” with this one.

Burpee box jump overs:

Besides needing to jump onto the box, the rest of the movement allows for more options, including stepping or jumping off the box and stepping or jumping into and out of the burpee. This will allow you to slow down or speed up the movements. Lastly, move with purpose and stay low on the box while watching your posture so your back doesn’t take the full impact of the jumps following snatches. Check out the video and photo below for visuals of the different options.

Dumbbell snatches:

Again, as fatigue sets in, watch your technique and posture. It will once again be tempting to go as fast as possible with these, especially if the weight feels light. Remember, slow is smooth and smooth is fast. And, when starting the ascent of the snatch, minimise pulling with your back as much as possible by assuming a normal deadlift position rather than a strict leg one. 


  1. Start smart with a pace that allows for continual movement. If you know you tend to go out too quickly, then work through different paces while warming up.
  2. Control your breathing. Always breathe out at the top of the snatch and at the bottom of the burpee and at the top of the box jump.
  3. Don’t worry about other people’s pace, just do you.

The second half of 21.2 is going to be tough no matter what. Make sure you play it smart and remember, it’s just bloody adult PE. So, when that voice starts to creep in and say “Why the F am I doing to myself? Will anybody really notice if I b-line for the door” just keep moving and finish like a champ.

Check below to read my past articles on the CrossFit Open and be sure to pop and comments or questions below! @thecrossvicedit 

21.1 Open Strategy
The CrossFit Open 2021
16.1 Open Strategy
16.2 Open Strategy
16.4 Open Strategy
16.5 Open Strategy

1 comments on “The CrossFit Open 21.2: workout tips and strategies”

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